8 January 2016

Liberia: 'Ghost' to Face Parker

Defense counsels for indicted former National Port Authority Managing Director Matilda W. Parker and Comptroller Christina Kpabar-Paelay have accused prosecutors in open court of allegedly creating "Ghost Deneah Flomo" and recruiting an insurance company as co-conspirator "to maliciously destroy" their clients.

In reaction to the prosecution's request to the court to nolle prosequi defendant Flomo, the defense argued yesterday, 7 January that ... in the spirit of conspiracy designed all along ... the "Ghost Deneah Flomo" has never been arrested by the prosecution since he was the creation of the prosecution from the onset of the investigation.

But the prosecutors sharply rejected the claim by the defense team as untrue, urging the counsels to allow their witnesses to say what they know rather than to suggest that Mr. Deneah Martin Flomo is ghost.

Earlier on Tuesday, 5 January, the defense team repeatedly questioned state witness D. Blamo Kofa whether he called a meeting which is called "confrontation" between Flomo and Parker and Paelay during the investigation.

But witness Blamo said confrontation was an old approach, saying the returned checks and photos of the ID of the returned checks pointed to Flomo. After the prosecution's request filed with Presiding Criminal Court "C" Judge A. Blamo Dixon to nolle prosequi co-defendant Flomo, the court on Thursday, 7 January granted the request which will now enable Mr. Flomo to serve as state witness in the case he had been jointly indicted, along with Ms. Parker and Ms. Paelay.

Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise, along with the two former NPA officials were jointly indicted on charges of economic sabotage, theft of property and criminal conspiracy over claims that two contracts awarded him by the officials in the tune of over US$800,000 were never implemented and also did not adhere to public procurement laws.

Based on the prosecution's request, the court recently subpoenaed original copies of documents relevant to the case at hand from the NPA, but the entity's current Managing Director Mr. David F. Williams said in response that the management did not know the whereabouts of the original instruments requested.

"... After a thorough search the whereabouts of the original is unknown and nowhere to be found," Port's Managing Director Williams wrote the court as saying. In the subpoena, the prosecution was seeking to secure original copies of wreck removal entered into between NPA under the administration of Ms. Parker and Denmar Enterprise, dated July 30, 2011.

The subpoena also requested the security consultancy contract entered into in August 2012 for security consultancy at Freeport of Monrovia, Port of Buchanan, Port of Greenville, Port of Harper and the China Union areas, respectively.

Other original documents sought by prosecution included payment vouchers and returned checks totaling US$500,000 to Flomo for wreck removal from Greenville Port in 2011/2012 as per the Memorandum of Understanding.

Original copies of the payment vouchers and returned checks totaling US$337,950 to Flomo/ Denmar Enterprise for security consultancy were also being requested, among several other instruments.

The current port management regrettably said it was "unable to locate any of the documents requested."

But the defense counsels indicated, in reaction to the NPA's letter to the court, that the corporation was a custodian of public records, and said contracts were lodged in the office of the Managing Director and comptroller.

The defense contended that the keys to the Managing Director's office were surrendered when Ms. Parker was suspended; while the Comptroller Paelay's office was allegedly broken into "by authority" of the management of the NPA and the suspended officials prevented from entering the port.


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